'Help' from Sigma Huda.

by Helen Brown

The Western victim went on to campaign against rape and trafficking in Nepal, promoting a petition that gained over 25,000 signatures. She attended an international conference on women's human rights where she spoke twice, once of her own experiences in Nepal and then about her anti-trafficking experiences.

The Bangladeshi lawyer Sigma Huda attended the second presentation. There was no chairperson present. Sigma Huda interrupted with questions and soon discovered that the speaker had trusted Santa Thapalia and had been betrayed. Sigma Huda became more disruptive, insisting that a well-timed speech had over-run. People left the room in disgust. Finally although Sigma Huda wasn't even booked to speak, she forced the speaker to stop with her presentation unfinished, in an apparent attempt to stop her revealing the truth, or to simply hog all the limelight of being an anti-trafficking campaigner for herself.

So, Sigma Huda, since reading your biography prompted these reflections, the truth you tried to conceal is now out, to a far wider audience that the dozen people who remained in the room after your disruptions. Neither is your bad behavior concealed! When you visit a foreign country, you are expected to abide by the customs in that country, and the custom in Britain is that you do not interrupt the speaker. Also you cannot stop trafficking single-handed, or with allies who practice duplicity. You need to learn not to alienate other campaigners, but to work with them in harmony. Otherwise, how can anything positive come out of any conference you organize or attend?

Helen Brown

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For more information on the campaign to stop sexual harassment of tourists in Nepal please email comments, ideas and suggestions to:

Helen Brown freespirit_nospam_@gn.apc.org

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